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Anxiety Message Board

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For some reason I have always believe I suffer from social anxiety but I have never done anything about it. Who do I talk to? I know I can talk to my primary care physician but is there a specialist who I can talk to who is specialized in dealing with social anxiety?

I am really shy in social situations. I don't usually talk unless I am spoken to first, and I can relate to the "I don't want to say something stupid" or the "I don't want to sound stupid" excuse. Or I just am so nervous I don't know what to say or can't think of the "right" thing to say. I hate the fact that I feel like most of the time I can't hold a conversation with another person unless they are the one talking to me. I avoid going out to social settings just because I don't want to be around other people or I don't want other people talking to me or looking at me or because I am afraid of what they're thinking or that I might have to interact with them. My freshman year of college I ended up failing a psychology course (of all courses!) because I didn't want to walk into my class late -- because everybody would be staring at me!
All of this usually changes once I am comfortable and get to know someone, but even still I can be so timid and quiet. It can really affect a person's social life, not to mention the fact that I don't have many friends, and I don't really know a lot of people in general because of this -- I am too nervous & shy to talk to them! I just know that I need to talk to someone who can help me get over this or to deal with it better.

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